Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Experimental Psychology

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Rachel Severson

Commitee Members

Lucian G. Conway III, Pablo Requena, Kristi M. Lemm


worldviews, factor analysis, psychometrics, beliefs, values, attitudes


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Social Psychology


Worldview is an individual difference construct that has been linked to various behavioral and health outcomes. However, very little is known about how worldviews develop and how worldview beliefs, values, and attitudes coalesce into different worldview factors. One obstacle that has impeded research on worldviews is the lack of a robust worldview measure. The creation of a new, more valid worldview measure will aid in answering these important questions. This research project is the first step in the creation of a more comprehensive worldview measure. The primary aims of Study 1 were to compile existing published worldview measures and reduce the combined items to a parsimonious number necessitated by the large-scale factor analyses used in Study 2. Five published worldview measures were identified, and the combined 160-items were administered in random order to 171 participants from a mid-size, public university. The 160 items were reduced through Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) by analyzing (1) communality values, (2) rotated factor loadings, (3) significant cross-loadings, and (4) inter-item correlations, leaving 77 items which formed 8 preliminary factors. Study 2 sought to re-identify and confirm the factors (with an adequate sample size) to ensure that the new measure maintained a meaningful breadth while eliminating any further redundant or extraneous items. Participants (N = 772) were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). An EFA was run on half of these participants using the same criteria from Study 1 to reduce items. This process resulted in 41 items which formed five factors: Factor 1, benevolence and optimism; Factor 2, secularism; Factor 3, Eastern-based spirituality; Factor 4, hard work; and Factor 5, illusion of free will. The five factors were then analyzed using Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) to see how the model fit the remaining half of participants. The CFI indicated a good fit of the model to the data. However, the RMSEA fell above the suggested maximum value. Taken together, these indices suggest that the model has room for improvement, but is an overall decent fit. This new, 41-item measure, the Comprehensive Worldview Measure (CWM), has significant potential to further worldview research.


© Copyright 2019 Shailee R. Woodard